Anglers celebrate Toolondo top up

VICTORIA’S Labor Government has moved towards preserving Lake Toolondo as one of Victoria’s premier recreational fishing sites, securing a 5000-megalitre water allocation to protect the lake’s fish stocks.

Last weekend, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews joined Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford and Environment Minister Lisa Neville at Lake Toolondo to fulfil this key election commitment.

Delivery of water to the lake has now started and is expected to increase the reservoir by about 10 per cent of its maximum operating volume.

The Labor Government says the water allocation is part of three-point plan to protect Lake Toolondo’s status as a top trout fishery, attracting anglers from across the state.

In recent years, there has been concern that if the water levels at Lake Toolondo continue to drop, the trout may die, resulting in loss of the recreational fishery.

The Labor Government’s Target One Million plan aims to boost fish stocks, improve fishing and boating facilities and promote the great pastime of recreational fishing.

“Lake Toolondo is an anchor for this region, bringing in anglers from around the state,” said Premier Daniel Andrews.

“We’re working hard to promote this great pastime and give recreational fishers the facilities they need.”

Minister Jaala Pulford said “Our three-point plan for Lake Toolondo will guarantee the future of one of Victoria’s best fishing spots.”

The Government says it will also establish the Lake Toolondo Recreational Fishing Advisory Group, led by former Agriculture Minister Joe Helper, to guide future management arrangements for the lake. The group will include representatives from the industry and the local community.

Scientists from Fisheries Victoria and the Arthur Rylah Institute will also research the effects of different water levels on the fishery, using data and measurements to find out how to preserve recreational fishing.

David Kramer of the Future Fish Foundation, a tireless advocate for the ongoing future of the Lake Toolondo fishery, has greatly welcomed the development.   

“It’s a lake that six or seven years ago was dry,” Kramer told Fisho.

“This (water allocation) will prop up the lake level well into the summer of 2016 and we hope for rains to do the rest,” he says.

Kramer says the 5000-megalitre allocation was donated by mining company Iluka Resources and he expects it will raise the lake’s overall water level by just over a metre.

He says the rising water has also raised the spirits of residents and business owners of the local township who greatly rely on the Toolondo fishery for tourism to support the local economy.

Kramer is now highly optimistic for the future of the lake’s trophy trout fishery, which he rates as second to none. 

“It probably has one of the best growth rates for trout of any lake in Australia, if not the world,” he told Fisho.


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